Electric Vehicles and Vehicle Charging Stations

In Saanich, passenger cars, trucks and SUVs account for 46% of our community’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, or over 240,000 tonnes of GHGs per year. Low carbon transportation options such as electric vehicles (EVs) and active transportation have been steadily increasing and are important climate solutions that we are and will continue to support through our climate action plan.

Benefits of Electric Vehicles

Interest in EVs has been increasing over the past several years, with nearly 5% of passenger car sales across Canada being EVs in 2018. There are many benefits to EVs, including that they are:

  • Environmentally friendly: EVs run on BC’s clean electricity and emit no GHG emissions. Even when considering their entire lifecycle (such as battery manufacturing), they have a much lower environmental impact than conventional cars. They have no tailpipe, so improve our local air quality as well!
  • Cheaper to operate: EVs can cost as little as $320 per year to fuel (compared to the average BC driver spending $2,400 on gas!), and have much lower maintenance costs because they have so few moving parts.
  • Convenient to charge: Most drivers install an EV charger at home, and rarely have to worry about fuelling up on the go. But with BC’s growing network of charging stations, finding a charge en route to your destination or around town is easier and more convenient than ever.

There are increasing models of EVs available, with a wide range of price points. Check out PlugIn BC’s list of EVs available in BC.

Learn more about the benefits and common myths around EVs at PlugIn BC or in BC Hydro’s recently published report, Unplugged: Myths Block Road to the Electric Vehicle Car Dream.

Electric Vehicle Charging Locations

Plugshare.com provides information on the location of stations, any fees that may apply and real-time information on whether the stations are in use. The Capital Region now has three DC Fast Chargers and dozens of Level 2 Chargers, including two EV stations at each of the following Saanich facilities:

  • Saanich Municipal Hall, 770 Vernon Ave
  • Saanich Commonwealth Place, 4636 Elk Lake Drive
  • Cedar Hill Recreation Centre, 3220 Cedar Hill Rd
  • Cedar Hill Golf Course, 1400 Derby Road
  • Pearkes Recreation Centre, 3100 Tillicum Rd
  • Gordon Head Recreation Centre, 4100 Lambrick Way

The stations use a simple card swipe system. Use a credit card or AddEnergie pass card to gain access. Get your own card for AddEnergie stations in Saanich and around the region.

EV charging at Saanich facilities is currently provided to residents for free, but you’ll have a 3-hour time limit.

Electric Vehicle Rebates

Rebate programs from the Province of BC help make it possible for you to have an EV of your own. Visit pluginbc.ca for up to date information on current vehicle and charging incentives, as well as answers to any of your EV questions.

An Electric Vehicle Strategy for Saanich

Saanich staff are currently exploring opportunities and actions to support uptake of electric vehicles in our community, in alignment with the update of our Climate Action Plan, 100% Renewable and Resilient Saanich. In collaboration with the Capital Regional District and other local municipalities, we’re looking into best practices and a coordinated approach for strategies such as:

  • A requirement for EV-ready new development
  • Supporting retrofits to install EV charging in existing buildings
  • Expanding the current public charging network

Get “plugged in” to updates, news and opportunities for input on electric vehicle initiatives in Saanich by signing up to our EV newsletter.